Engaged couples out thousands of dollars after wedding venue in Hill County closes, not offering refunds
HILL COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) - Dozens of brides are frustrated and scrambling for solutions after their wedding venue told them they were closing their doors.
The situation has brought on a lot of confusion and stress for these bride-to-be’s. They were told just before Christmas that their venue at Leatherberry Oaks was closed, and the owner’s said there was no money left to provide refunds.
But days later, the owners sent another email saying that they have made arrangements to stay open and will be honoring their contracts. But two brides tell KWTX that there is now a lack of trust.
Katelyn Hayslip and her fiancé Thomas have been looking forward to their big day since getting engaged in 2021. First on their agenda was securing a wedding venue that they loved. After touring Leatherberry Oaks, they knew that was their venue so they signed the contract and paid for it in full.
But just five months before their big day, they were told the venue was no longer open.
“It’s been stressful, I was very emotional at the beginning of it,” Hayslip says.
Even though the venue is trying to rectify the issue, Katelyn says they lost trust and just decided to lose the money and move on. But Katelyn is not alone.
Brittany Krumnow and her fiancé Dillon are out $10,000 just two months before their February wedding.
“We were out to dinner and she showed me the email and just started crying,” said groom Dillon Woods, “I pretty much cried all night,” Krumnow added.
That money covered the use of the venue, cabins for their guests to stay, a huge selection of decorations as well as a wedding day coordinator. On top of that, they are out on the money they spent for invitations that list Leatherberry Oaks as the venue.
Luckily, the wedding community has rallied around these brides and various venues have offered discounted solutions. Krumnow says if it wasn’t for her amazing vendors that have supported her, she would probably still be losing her mind.
“The one thing I did right was picking my vendors, because literally anytime I email them because I have had to change plans, they have just been totally understanding,” Krumnow explains.
For both brides, they were able to secure new venues on the same date as originally planned. That has offered them a sense of hope as they get ready to start their next chapter in life, together.
KWTX obtained from a bride-to-be that initial email where the owners said quote:
“We want this to be clear, this is not a decision we are making, this is out of our control. I know many of you will be desperately hoping that there is something you can do, I promise there is not, we have tried everything. This venue represented our life savings, blood, sweat and many many tears, and we also need to figure out what we are going to do in the future.”
And just a few days ago the owners sent a second email that reads:
“We have arranged to remain open, the venue will be available on your date so that we can honor your contract.”
One bride tells KWTX that she will be seeking legal action. KWTX also reached out to the owners at Leatherberry Oak Wedding Venue and they said they could call us back. But we have not heard from them since.
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